The Tropical Biosphere Research Center (TBRC) is a research institute of University of the Ryukyus located in subtropical climate zone. Faculty members of TBRC are conducting biological researches on the tropical and subtropical environment. The researches are mainly focused on the mechanism of establishment and maintenance of biological diversity, the survival strategies of living organisms, and the dynamic interactions of symbiotic or infectious microbes with hosts. Applied researches on food and health in subtropical area is also carried out in TBRC. These research activities covers all four Key Words of the University of the Ryukyus: Islands, Marine, Subtropical Climate, and Health and Longevity.
TBRC has been approved to be a Joint Usage/Research Center (JURC) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. As the only JURC in the subtropical climate zone, TBRC provides opportunities to study subtropical organisms and ecosystems for both domestic and international researchers. TBRC has great access to resources of the insular environments of the Ryukyu Archipelago with high endemism that have been developed in humid subtropical climate under complex geographical history, which includes coral reefs and mangrove forests with high biodiversity. Iriomote and Sesoko Stations of TBRC are located right next to coral reefs and mangrove forests, respectively, and are equipped with dormitories and laboratories available for the field researchers.
Establishment of interdisciplinary research area of field research and molecular biology is another important goal of TBRC. Center of Molecular Biosciences (COMB) and Nishihara Station of TBRC in Senbaru Campus are important role in the issue. At present, genome sequencing of tropical field-derived samples becomes standard analyses in recent years. To further improve co-operation between the Stations, teleconference system is active used to exchange of information.
2021 is an important year cerebrating 50-year Anniversary of TBRC. In 1971, Sesoko station was established as Marine Science Laboratory of Faculty of Science and Enginering, and Iriomote Stations was established as Research institute of Tropical Agriculture of Faculty of Agricultre.
It is a good timing to review our previous research activity and establish the basis of research activity for coming 50 years. TBRC continues to be a biological research center of University of the Ryukyus, and will reinforce the function as JURC.